48.93(2) (2)All correspondence and papers, relating to the investigation, which are not a part of the court record, except those in the custody of agencies authorized to place children for adoption shall be transferred to the department and placed in its closed files.
48.93 Annotation Adoption records reform: Impact on adoptees. 67 MLR 110 (1983).
48.94 48.94 New birth record.
48.94(1)(1)After entry of the order granting the adoption the clerk of the court shall promptly mail a copy thereof to the state bureau of vital records and furnish any additional data needed for the new birth record. Whenever the parents by adoption, or the adopting parent and a birth parent who is the spouse of the adopting parent, request, that the birth record for the person adopted be not changed, then the court shall so order. In such event no new birth record shall be filed by the state registrar, notwithstanding the provisions of s. 69.15 (2) or any other law of this state.
48.94(2) (2)If the court issues an order under s. 69.15 (2) (d) to restore the information from an adoptee's original birth record, the state registrar shall issue a new birth certificate containing the information from the adoptee's original birth record, except for the adoptee's given name at birth, if different. The restoration of any birth parent's name on the adoptee's birth record does not do any of the following:
48.94(2)(a) (a) Affect the legal relationship of parent and adoptee that was created by the order of adoption.
48.94(2)(b) (b) Restore any legal rights or any legal relationship that terminated upon the order of adoption.
48.94(2)(c) (c) Change the adoptee's legal name.
48.94 History History: 1981 c. 359 s. 16; 1985 a. 315 s. 22; 1991 a. 316; 2013 a. 379; 2017 a. 334.
48.94 Annotation Fundamental Rights Debate: Should Wisconsin Allow Adult Adoptees Unconditional Access to Adoption Records and Original Birth Certificates? Racine. 2002 WLR 1437.
48.95 48.95 Withdrawal or denial of petition. Except as provided under s. 48.839 (3) (b), if the petition is withdrawn or denied, the circuit court shall order the case transferred to the court assigned to exercise jurisdiction under this chapter and ch. 938 for appropriate action, except that if parental rights have been terminated and the guardian of the minor is the department, a licensed child welfare agency or a county department under s. 48.57 (1) (e) or (hm), the minor shall remain in the legal custody of the guardian.
48.95 History History: 1977 c. 271, 449; 1981 c. 81; 1985 a. 176; 1995 a. 77.
48.96 48.96 Subsequent adoption. The adoption of an adopted person is authorized and, in that case, the references to parent and birth parent are to adoptive parent.
48.96 History History: 1981 c. 359 s. 16.
48.97 48.97 Adoption and guardianship orders of other jurisdictions.
48.97(1)(1)Effect and recognition of adoption decrees of other states. When the relationship of parent and child has been created by an order of adoption of a court of any other state, the rights and obligations of the parties as to matters within the jurisdiction of this state shall be determined under s. 48.92 as though the order of adoption was entered by a court of this state.
48.97(2) (2)Effect and recognition of foreign adoption decrees. If the adoption of a child who was born in a foreign jurisdiction and who was not a citizen of the United States at the time of birth was finalized under the laws of the jurisdiction from which the child was adopted and if the child was admitted to the United States with an IR-3 or IH-3 visa issued by the U.S. citizenship and immigration services, all of the following apply:
48.97(2)(a) (a) The adoption shall be recognized by this state and the rights and obligations of the adoptive parent and child shall be determined under s. 48.92 as though the order of adoption was entered by a court of this state.
48.97(2)(b) (b) The adoptive parent shall not be required to readopt the child in this state.
48.97(2)(c) (c) Within 365 days of a child being admitted to the United States, the adoptive parent shall submit a letter to the court requesting registration of the foreign adoption order. The parent shall include in the request all of the following:
48.97(2)(c)1. 1. Evidence as to the date, place of birth, and parentage of the child.
48.97(2)(c)2. 2. A certified or notarized copy of the final order of adoption entered by a court of the foreign jurisdiction and, if that final order is not in English, a certified translation or a notarized copy of a certified translation of that final order.
48.97(2)(c)3. 3. A sworn statement by the adoptive parent including all of the following:
48.97(2)(c)3.a. a. That a home study was completed as required or recognized by this state and the home study recommends the parent as an adoptive parent.
48.97(2)(c)3.b. b. That the required preadoption training was completed.
48.97(2)(c)3.c. c. That the adoptive parent is receiving and will receive supervision from a licensed child welfare agency in the United States until the court enters an order registering the foreign adoption order and has satisfied all preadoption training requirements.
48.97(2)(c)4. 4. The name and address of the adoptive parents and the child.
48.97(2)(c)5. 5. Any other information necessary for the state registrar to prepare a certification of birth data for the child.
48.97(2)(d) (d) Upon receipt of the letter under par. (c), the court shall enter an order registering the foreign adoption order, and may change the name of the child to that requested by the adoptive parents. The court shall then transmit the order registering the foreign adoption order to the state registrar.
48.97(2)(e) (e) An order registering the foreign adoption order shall have the same effect as an adoption order granted under s. 48.91.
48.97(3) (3)Effect and recognition of foreign guardianship decrees; additional requirements. If a resident of this state has been appointed guardian of a child who was born in a foreign jurisdiction and who was not a citizen of the United States at the time of birth and the child was admitted to the United States with an IR-4 or IH-4 visa issued by the U.S. citizenship and immigration services, the guardian shall adopt the child under s. 48.839.
48.97 History History: 1971 c. 187; 1981 c. 81; 1995 a. 443; 2015 a. 380.
48.975 48.975 Adoption assistance.
48.975(1)(1)Definition. In this section, “adoption assistance" means payments by the department to the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents of a child which are designed to assist in the cost of care of that child after an agreement under sub. (4) has been signed and the child has been placed for adoption with the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents.
48.975(2) (2)Applicability. The department may provide adoption assistance only for a child with special needs and only when the department has determined that such assistance is necessary to assure the child's adoption.
48.975(3) (3)Types. The department may provide adoption assistance for maintenance, medical care or nonrecurring adoption expenses, or for any combination of those types of adoption assistance, according to the following criteria:
48.975(3)(a) (a) Maintenance.
48.975(3)(a)1.1. Except as provided in subd. 3., for support of a child who was in foster care or subsidized guardianship care immediately prior to placement for adoption, the department shall determine the initial amount of adoption assistance for maintenance based on the circumstances of the adoptive family and the needs of the child. That amount may not exceed the amount of the child's foster care or subsidized guardianship care payment at the time that the agreement under sub. (4) (a) is signed.
48.975(3)(a)2. 2. Except as provided in subd. 3., for support of a child not in foster care or subsidized guardianship care immediately prior to placement for adoption, the department shall determine the initial amount of adoption assistance for maintenance based on the circumstances of the adoptive family and the needs of the child. That amount may not exceed the uniform foster care rate applicable to the child that is in effect at the time that the agreement under sub. (4) (a) is signed.
48.975(3)(a)3. 3. For support of a child who is defined under rules promulgated by the department under sub. (5) (b) as a child with special needs based solely on being at high risk of developing moderate or intensive difficulty-of-care problems, the initial amount of adoption assistance for maintenance shall be $0.
48.975(3)(a)4. 4. The amount of adoption assistance for maintenance may be changed under an amended agreement under sub. (4) (b) or (c). If an agreement is amended under sub. (4) (b) or (c), the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance shall be the amount specified in the amended agreement but may not exceed the uniform foster care rate that would be applicable to the child if the child were in foster care during the time for which the adoption assistance for maintenance is paid.
48.975(3)(b) (b) Medical. The adoption assistance for medical care shall be sufficient to pay expenses due to a physical, mental or emotional condition of the child which is not covered by a health insurance policy insuring the child or the parent.
48.975(3)(c) (c) Nonrecurring adoption expenses. Subject to any maximum amount provided by the department by rule promulgated under sub. (5), the adoption assistance for nonrecurring adoption expenses shall be sufficient to pay the reasonable and necessary adoption fees, court costs, legal fees and other expenses that are directly related to the adoption of the child and that are not incurred in violation of any state or federal law.
48.975(3m) (3m)Duration. The adoption assistance may be continued after the adoptee attains 18 years of age if any of the following applies:
48.975(3m)(a) (a) The adoptee is under 19 years of age, is a full-time student at a secondary school or its vocational or technical equivalent, and is reasonably expected to complete the program before reaching 19 years of age.
48.975(3m)(b) (b) The adoptee is under 21 years of age, is a full-time student at a secondary school or its vocational or technical equivalent, has a mental or physical disability that warrants the continuation of adoption assistance as determined by the department, is not eligible for social security disability insurance under 42 USC 401 to 433 or supplemental security income under 42 USC 1381 to 1385 based on disability, and otherwise lacks adequate resources to continue in secondary school or its vocational or technical equivalent.
48.975(3m)(c) (c) The adoptee is under 21 years of age, is a full-time student at a secondary school or its vocational or technical equivalent, an individualized education program under s. 115.787 is in effect for the adoptee, and the adoption assistance agreement for the adoptee became effective on or after the date on which the adoptee attained 16 years of age.
48.975(4) (4)Procedure.
48.975(4)(a) (a) Except in extenuating circumstances, as defined by the department by rule promulgated under sub. (5) (a), a written agreement to provide adoption assistance shall be made prior to adoption. An agreement to provide adoption assistance may be made only for a child who, at the time of placement for adoption, is in the guardianship of the department or other agency authorized to place children for adoption, in the guardianship of an American Indian tribal agency in this state, or in a subsidized guardianship under s. 48.623.
48.975(4)(b) (b) If an agreement to provide adoption assistance is in effect and if the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents of the child who is the subject of the agreement believe there has been a substantial change in circumstances, as defined by the department by rule promulgated under sub. (5) (c), the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents may request that the agreement be amended to increase the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance. If a request is received under this paragraph, the department shall do all of the following:
48.975(4)(b)1. 1. Determine whether there has been a substantial change in circumstances, as defined by the department by rule promulgated under sub. (5) (c) and whether there has been a substantiated report of abuse or neglect of the child by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents.
48.975(4)(b)2. 2. If there has been a substantial change in circumstances and if there has been no substantiated report of abuse or neglect of the child by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents, offer to increase the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance based on criteria established by the department by rule promulgated under sub. (5) (d).
48.975(4)(b)3. 3. If an increased amount of adoption assistance for maintenance is agreed to by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents, amend the agreement in writing to specify the increased amount of adoption assistance for maintenance.
48.975(4)(bm) (bm) Annually, the department shall review an agreement that has been amended under par. (b) to determine whether the substantial change in circumstances that was the basis for amending the agreement continues to exist. If that substantial change in circumstances continues to exist, the agreement, as amended, shall remain in effect. If that substantial change in circumstances no longer exists, the department shall offer to decrease the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance based on criteria established by the department under sub. (5) (dm). If the decreased amount of adoption assistance for maintenance is agreed to by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents, the department shall amend the agreement in writing to specify the decreased amount of adoption assistance for maintenance. If the decreased amount of adoption assistance for maintenance is not agreed to by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents, the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents may appeal the decision of the department regarding the decrease under the procedure established by the department under sub. (5) (dm).
48.975(4)(c) (c) The department may propose to the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents that an agreement to provide adoption assistance be amended to adjust the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance. If an adjustment in the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance is agreed to by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents, the agreement shall be amended in writing to specify the adjusted amount of adoption assistance for maintenance.
48.975(4)(d) (d) An agreement to provide adoption assistance may be amended more than once under par. (b) or (c).
48.975(4m) (4m)Recovery of incorrect payments. The department may recover an overpayment of adoption assistance from an adoptive parent who continues to receive adoption assistance for maintenance by reducing the amount of the adoptive parent's monthly payment of adoption assistance for maintenance. The department may by rule specify other methods for recovering overpayments of adoption assistance.
48.975(5) (5)Rules. The department shall promulgate rules necessary to implement this section, which shall include all of the following:
48.975(5)(a) (a) A rule defining the extenuating circumstances under which an initial agreement to provide adoption assistance under sub. (4) (a) may be made after adoption. This definition shall include all circumstances under which federal statutes, regulations or guidelines provide that federal matching funds for adoption assistance are available to the state if an initial agreement is made after adoption, but may not include circumstances under which federal statutes, regulations or guidelines provide that federal matching funds for adoption assistance are not available if an initial agreement is made after adoption.
48.975(5)(b) (b) A rule defining a child with special needs, which shall include a child who the department determines has, at the time of placement for adoption, moderate or intensive difficulty-of-care problems, as defined by the department, or who the department determines is, at the time of placement for adoption, at high risk of developing those problems.
48.975(5)(c) (c) A rule defining the substantial change in circumstances under which adoptive or proposed adoptive parents may request that an agreement made under sub. (4) be amended to increase the amount of adoption assistance for maintenance. The definition shall include all of the following:
48.975(5)(c)1. 1. Situations in which a child who was defined as a child with special needs based solely on being at high risk of developing moderate or intensive difficulty-of-care problems has developed those problems.
48.975(5)(c)2. 2. Situations in which a child's difficulty-of-care problems have increased from the moderate level to the intensive level as set forth in the department's schedule of difficulty-of-care levels promulgated by rule.
48.975(5)(d) (d) Rules establishing requirements for submitting a request under sub. (4) (b), criteria for determining the amount of the increase in adoption assistance for maintenance that the department shall offer if there has been a substantial change in circumstances and if there has been no substantiated report of abuse or neglect of the child by the adoptive or proposed adoptive parents, and the procedure to appeal the decision of the department regarding the request.
48.975(5)(dm) (dm) Rules establishing the criteria for determining the amount of the decrease in adoption assistance for maintenance that the department shall offer under sub. (4) (bm) if a substantial change in circumstances no longer exists and the procedure to appeal the decision of the department regarding the decrease. The criteria shall provide that the amount of the decrease offered by the department under sub. (4) (bm) may not result in an amount of adoption assistance for maintenance that is less than the initial amount of adoption assistance for maintenance provided for the child under sub. (3) (a) 1., 2. or 3.
48.975(5)(e) (e) A rule regarding when a child must be photolisted with the adoption information exchange under s. 48.55 in order to be eligible for adoption assistance. The rule may not require photolisting under any circumstances in which photolisting is not required by federal statutes, regulations or guidelines as a prerequisite for the state to receive federal matching funds for adoption assistance.
48.975(5)(f) (f) Rules governing the provision of adoption assistance for the care of a child after the child attains 18 years of age.
48.975 Cross-reference Cross-reference: See also ch. DCF 50, Wis. adm. code.
48.977 48.977 Appointment of guardians for certain children in need of protection or services.
48.977(2)(2)Type of guardianship. This section may be used for the appointment of a guardian of the person for a child if the court finds all of the following:
48.977(2)(a) (a) That the child has been adjudged to be in need of protection or services under s. 48.13 (1), (2), (3), (3m), (4), (4m), (5), (8), (9), (10), (10m), (11), or (11m) or 938.13 (4) and been placed, or continued in a placement, outside of his or her home pursuant to one or more court orders under s. 48.345, 48.357, 48.363, 48.365, 938.345, 938.357, 938.363, or 938.365 or that the child has been so adjudged and placement of the child in the home of a guardian under this section has been recommended under s. 48.33 (1) or 938.33 (1).
48.977(2)(b) (b) That the person nominated as the guardian of the child is a person with whom the child has been placed or in whose home placement of the child is recommended under par. (a) and that it is likely that the child will continue to be placed with that person for an extended period of time or until the child attains the age of 18 years.
48.977(2)(c) (c) That, if appointed, it is likely that the person would be willing and able to serve as the child's guardian for an extended period of time or until the child attains the age of 18 years.
48.977(2)(d) (d) That it is not in the best interests of the child that a petition to terminate parental rights be filed with respect to the child.
48.977(2)(e) (e) That the child's parent is neglecting, refusing or unable to carry out the duties of a guardian or, if the child has 2 parents, both parents are neglecting, refusing or unable to carry out the duties of a guardian.
48.977(2)(f) (f) That the agency primarily responsible for providing services to the child under a court order has made reasonable efforts to make it possible for the child to return to his or her home, while assuring that the child's health and safety are the paramount concerns, but that reunification of the child with the child's parent or parents is unlikely or contrary to the best interests of the child and that further reunification efforts are unlikely to be made or are contrary to the best interests of the child or that the agency primarily responsible for providing services to the child under a court order has made reasonable efforts to prevent the removal of the child from his or her home, while assuring the child's health and safety, but that continued placement of the child in the home would be contrary to the welfare of the child, except that the court is not required to find that the agency has made those reasonable efforts with respect to a parent of the child if any of the circumstances specified in s. 48.355 (2d) (b) 1. to 5. applies to that parent. The court shall make the findings specified in this paragraph on a case-by-case basis based on circumstances specific to the child and shall document or reference the specific information on which those findings are based in the guardianship order. A guardianship order that merely references this paragraph without documenting or referencing that specific information in the order or an amended guardianship order that retroactively corrects an earlier guardianship order that does not comply with this paragraph is not sufficient to comply with this paragraph.
48.977(3) (3)Designation as a permanent placement. If a court appoints a guardian for a child under sub. (2), the court may designate the child's placement with that guardian as the child's permanent foster placement, but only for purposes of s. 48.368 (2) or 938.368 (2).
48.977(3r) (3r)Subsidized guardianship.
48.977(3r)(a) (a) Guardian. Subsidized guardianship payments under s. 48.623 (1) may not be made to a guardian of a child unless a subsidized guardianship agreement under s. 48.623 (2) is entered into before the guardianship order is granted and the court either terminates any order specified in sub. (2) (a) or dismisses any proceeding in which the child has been adjudicated in need of protection or services as specified in sub. (2) (a). If a child's permanency plan calls for placement of the child in the home of a guardian and the provision of monthly subsidized guardianship payments to the guardian, the petitioner under sub. (4) (a) shall include in the petition under sub. (4) (b) a statement of the determinations made under s. 48.623 (1) and a request for the court to include in the court's findings under sub. (4) (d) a finding confirming those determinations. If the court confirms those determinations, appoints a guardian for the child under sub. (2), and either terminates any order specified in sub. (2) (a) or dismisses any proceeding in which the child is adjudicated to be in need of protection or services as specified in sub. (2) (a), the county department or, as provided in s. 48.623 (3) (a), the department shall provide monthly subsidized guardianship payments to the guardian under s. 48.623 (1).
48.977(3r)(b) (b) Successor guardian. Subsidized guardianship payments under s. 48.623 (6) (bm) may not be made to a successor guardian of a child unless the court makes a finding confirming that the successor guardian is named as a prospective successor guardian of the child in a subsidized guardianship agreement or amended subsidized guardianship agreement under s. 48.623 (2) that was entered into before the death or incapacity of the guardian and that the conditions specified in s. 48.623 (6) (bm) have been met, appoints the successor guardian to assume the duty and authority of guardianship as provided in sub. (5m), and either terminates any order specified in sub. (2) (a) or dismisses any proceeding in which the child has been adjudicated in need of protection or services as specified in sub. (2) (a). If the court makes that finding and appointment and either terminates such an order or dismisses such a proceeding, the county department or, as provided in s. 48.623 (3) (a), the department shall provide monthly subsidized guardianship payments to the successor guardian under s. 48.623 (6) (bm).
48.977(4) (4)Procedure and disposition.
48.977(4)(a) (a) Who may file petition. Any of the following persons may file a petition for the appointment of a guardian for a child under sub. (2):
48.977(4)(a)1. 1. The child or the child's guardian, legal custodian, or Indian custodian.
48.977(4)(a)2. 2. The child's guardian ad litem.
48.977(4)(a)3. 3. The child's parent.
48.977(4)(a)4. 4. The person with whom the child is placed or in whose home placement of the child is recommended as described in sub. (2) (a), if the person is nominated as the guardian of the child in the petition.
48.977(4)(a)5. 5. The department.
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2017-18 Wisconsin Statutes updated through 2019 Wis. Act 20 and through all Supreme Court and Controlled Substances Board Orders filed before and in effect on November 11, 2019. Published and certified under s. 35.18. Changes effective after November 11, 2019, are designated by NOTES. (Published 11-11-19)